Here you will find the answers to the questions most frequently asked by people contacting Mountaintrails. If you cannot find the answer to your query, please contact us.
The safety of our clients is always our top priority, please read our Covid-19 policy here. There are also links to other sites that we think may be of interest to our clients.
How our grading system works
Our day hikes are graded easy, moderate, hard and hard/strenuous.
Mainly on easily identifiable paths, with good underfoot conditions. Can include open countryside with some rough ground and easy ascents.
For example: East Brockagh and Glendalough day hike.
Time: 3 -5 hours Height gain: 200-400 metres Distance: 8km – 12km
Regular walkers who are used to rough paths and manage 12km (7½ miles) with relative ease should find the moderate graded walks suitable. Can include more informal paths, rougher, boggy and more uneven terrain with the possibility of some moderately steep ground.
For example: Derrybawn and Spinc Loop.
Time: 5-6 hours Height gain: 400-600 metres Distance: 12 to 15km
Underfoot conditions can be rough and uneven with the possibility of some rocky sections and mountain terrain without clear paths. Suitable for regular hillwalkers with appropriate mountain footwear and clothing.
For example: Lugnaquilla, Carlingford mountain.
Time: 6-7 hours Height gain: 600-800 metres Distance: 15km to 18km
Walks that are suitable for regular hikers who are used to walking longer distances with a sustained climb of up to 1000m. Open moorland and mountain plateau, possibly rocky ground without clear paths. There may be some moderate exposure.
For example: Mweelrea, Carrauntoohil.
Time: 6-8 hours Height gain: 800-1000 metres Distance: 15km – 18k
Extended Weekend Trips
For our weekend trips, with their multi-day format, you would need to be reasonably fit and/or a regular mountain walker. We would advise some training in the form of cycling or running, or, of course, hiking. The hikes would be of a hard or hard/strenuous grade.
What kit should I bring?
For upland hikes and our weekend trips the following equipment should be sufficient:
- Rucksack (30-40 litre)
- Rucksack liner or dry bags
- Hiking boots
- Waterproof Jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Walking trousers (not jeans)
- Good cushioning socks
- Base layer (not cotton)
- Spare mid layer (e.g. fleece)
- Outer layer (e.g. jacket or softshell)
- Gaiters (optional)
- Hat & Gloves
- Drink container or platypus (2 litres minimum)
- Mobile phone (optional)
- Trail snacks
- Walking poles (optional)
Do you have any age limits on your trips?
If any clients are under 18 they must normally be accompanied by a parent/guardian. For safety reasons we are unable to take anyone under the age of 14 on our regular hikes. If you have small children and wish to book a walk then please contact us to arrange a private guiding day tailored around your needs. There is no upper age limit for our hikes.
What is your cancellation policy?
In the event of a hike or training course being cancelled by Mountaintrails, a full refund will be given, please note that a minimum of 4 persons booking is required for a course or hike to go ahead. Should the itinerary change on the day or be altered on safety or welfare grounds, no refund will be given.
The deposit on a weekend trip is not refundable in the event of cancellation by the participants. For cancellations on day hikes and courses a minimum €10 fee for admin will be deducted from the refunded amount, if the client books an alternate date or takes a credit note when cancelling then no admin fee will be applied.
No refund or transfer will be given should the client cancel within 72 hours of the date of the event booked. There will be no refunds or transfers for no shows on the day.
What happens if the weather is very bad on the day of the hike?
We will make an assessment of the weather on the day and where possible we will continue with the itinerary but may have to alter it before or during the hike if we consider it too inclement or dangerous to continue. In all cases safety is our first priority and in extreme circumstances we may have to cancel a hike, should this be necessary a full refund will be given.
None of the dates you offer suit my diary. Can you help?
Yes, we can arrange a day of private guiding for you and your group. Please contact us and we can tailor a hike around your requirements, and at a date that suits you.
Can I bring my dog on the hike?
No pets are permitted on any of our hikes, training days, or weekend trips. This is to protect the upland fauna and farm animals.
What type of accommodation will I be staying in on the weekend trips?
For all our weekend hiking trips we arrange accommodation. A range of accommodation is used, from self catering guest houses to woodland chalets.
Can special diets be accommodated?
Our trips are self catering, to allow you to manage your own dietary needs.
How do I book?
Bookings can be made online or on the phone. Payments can be made online by card and Paypal, by BACS or by cheque.
Do you need to know about any medical conditions?
It is important that you let us know of any medical condition you may have when making a booking. This information will remain completely confidential but is essential to allow us to ensure your safety, and that of other group members.
Do I need travel insurance when travelling to the United Kingdom?
We would advise all clients to get suitable travel insurance before taking one of our trips.
Ethical Environmental Policy
As a mountain adventure company, we are responsible for bringing hundreds of people into the hills every year. We are fully aware of the impact this has on the mountain environment and as a result have instigated our Ethical Environment Policy. We ask all our clients to read and adhere to these guidelines when out in the hills.
When travelling to the start of the hike we would encourage everyone to car share where possible, and to park responsibly, avoiding blocking gates and forest roads.
We have a NO DOGS policy on our hikes, this is to ensure that ground nesting birds and other wildlife are not disturbed. In addition, many landowners now have ‘no dogs allowed’ notices on their land to prevent sheep worrying.
Please respect the animals and plants that make the mountains their home. We cannot help but trample some of the vegetation, but where possible walk on an existing path or hard surface, such as protruding rocks. Do not disturb the animals more than necessary, if taking photographs do not approach too closely, give them a little room.
Please do not bring single use plastic bottles on the hikes, much better to invest in a multi-use water bottle.
Pack your food in re-usable containers and remember to take all the packaging home to recycle.
‘If you carry it in – carry it out.’ Everything you bring into the hills should be taken home with you to be composted or recycled. Banana peels for example, take up to 2 years to decompose in the mountains and are an unsightly mess in the meantime.
We will provide zip lock bags for the purpose of carrying out ‘biodegradable’ food waste.
Do not litter, secure your empty water bottles inside your pack so they do not inadvertently fall. Use a handkerchief rather than tissues for that runny nose, tissues can easily blow away and take months to degrade.
If you see litter, please pick it up. If we all carry out any litter we find, then the mountains will remain clear of rubbish.
When toileting in the hills, try not to leave tissue paper lying around. A zip-lock bag is ideal for carrying it home with you, to dispose of properly.
We support the principles and ethics of ‘Leave No Trace’ and are members of Leave No Trace Ireland. More information on LNT can be found here: http://www.leavenotraceireland.org/
Other useful contacts
http://www.walkingandhikingireland.com/ An online magazine for information on hiking in Ireland, with news, descriptions of routes and photographs.
Mountaineering Ireland. Mountaineering Ireland is the representative body for walkers and climbers in Ireland, Their website contains much useful information on access, routes, equipment and safety.
Ireland Walking Guide gives lots of advice and routes for hikers in Ireland.